Tag Archives: Passer domesticus

Sparrowhawk feeding on a House Sparrow

SperberIf you operate a winter bird feeder, you can easily make beautiful and interesting nature observations from the window. For this reason I also feed, and not because I expect it to have a nature conservation effect. Many of our endangered birds aren’t there in winter anyway. They are in the warm south and would not come to the bird feeder in the garden even if they were fed in summer.

However, there are species that come to the feeding ground not because of the sunflower seeds, but because of the small birds that want to eat them. The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) should be mentioned here, which regularly appears in villages and at farms in winter and prey on them. So also at my feeding place.

This feeding place consists of a small house that I place on a crossbeam on a fruit tree and provide this with sunflower seeds. The birds can simply drop from the lowest branch of a tree nearby onto the table in front of the house. Most frequent guests are Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris), Great Tit (Parus major), Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), many House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) and one or the other Coal Tit (Periparus ater). I enjoy sitting at the window with the last cup of coffee from Continue reading Sparrowhawk feeding on a House Sparrow

Blackbird with a thick maggot in the beak

AmselA thick, fat maggot has been washed out of the earth on the former compost heap. The male Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) had only briefly scratched the surface with its yellow beak and had already very skillfully removed a thick maggot – probably a large beetle larva – from a dark-black layer of earth. It is astonishing how unerringly the Blackbird approaches two sites and then, after scratching no more than three times, one prey is exposed. Nevertheless, the bird is careful and only grabs the maggot by the black head at first and then quickly drops it again. After the Eurasian Blackbird has obviously convinced itself of the relative harmlessness of the prey after several procedures, the maggot is grabbed and tumbled at the head-body transition. Finally hunger outweighs fear and the maggot disappears upside down in the Thrush’s beak.

Now only the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) are interested in the feeding place. Somewhat unpleasant, the otherwise successful Eurasian Blackbird joins in from time to time and pursues the House Sparrows. Sometimes – when the Sparrows are outnumbered – the Eurasian Blackbird also have to pull out. Blackbird are what are commonly called “normal” birds. But her behavior always offers surprises and is also good for a few nice action shots. Before that, it was nice to see a furious chase of a Eurasian Blackbird to drive away a Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) that might have come too close to the nest. The Titmice (Parus sp.) appreciated it as well.

It was a pretty fresh morning after it had finally rained in southern Brandenburg in the night. In the morning it was only around 8 °celsius degrees. Later in the sun it was warmer of course; around 16 ° C. A wood chopper is always headed Continue reading Blackbird with a thick maggot in the beak

Wüstensperlinge in Marokkos Wüste

WüstensperlingVor Merzouga häufen sich auf einmal mitten in der Wüste mit sich wild kreuzenden Pisten die ersten Hotelschilder. Nun ist es nicht mehr weit zum temporären See von Merzouga südlich der Kleinstadt Erfoud. Das Hostal in Merzouga hat es zu einiger Bekanntheit gebracht. Es wird von Familie mit einem deutschsprechenden „Chef“ betrieben. Die Familie hat sogar verwandtschaftlichen Anhang in Deutschland. Auf einer Lehmmauer steht der erste Wüstensperling (Passer simplex). Der Wüstensperling ist ein kleiner Singvogel, der in Nordafrika und Zentralasien sein Verbreitungsgebiet hat und bei meiner Reise in die Gegend im Juni 2002 recht häufig war. Die Erinnerung an den Wüstensperling verbindet sich mit dem Eindruck eines durchaus häufigen Vogels hier an dem Ort in der Nähe eines Sees mit den einzigen großen marokkanischen Sanddünen in Reichweite. Die Spatzen konnten sehr gut beobachtet werden. Sie waren gar nicht scheu. Die Wüstensperlinge konnten u.a. dabei fotografiert werden, wie die Jungvögel von ihren Eltern gefüttert wurden. Der See ist mehr eine Lagune, die nur alle Jubeljahre mal vorhanden ist – wenn es im Frühjahr anständig geregnet hat. Die Sanddünen des Erg Chebbi sind dagegen permanent zu bewundern und ein echter Wahnsinn.

Marokko, eines der nördlichsten Länder Afrikas, ist ein Top-Touristenziel. Marokko liegt im Nordwesten Afrikas und ist im Wesentlichen ein afrikanisches Land mit einer großen Continue reading Wüstensperlinge in Marokkos Wüste

Snow Bunting, a migrating passerine on Flores/ Azores

SchneeammerThe Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is one of the few migratory passerines to be found on a regular basis to visit the Azores archipelago in general and Flores in particular. Maybe only the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) of the subspecies leucorhoa, the Greenland Wheatear is recorded as often on Flores, the westernmost island of the archipelago.

The morning of the 11th of October 2017 turned to be sunny, but started quite cloudy and in the higher parts of the inner plateau with fog with visibility that was only 10 meters. On return to the northern coast I decided to pay the highest peak of Flores, the Morro Alto, a short visit. Still, at 10:00 moist atlantic air clouded the Pico da Sé. Wind was blowing and one little bird, brightly colored in a creamy yellow and some dominance of white in the wing plumage jumped over the volcanic gravel around the antennas erected on Continue reading Snow Bunting, a migrating passerine on Flores/ Azores

Desert Sparrows in Morocco

WüstensperlingMorocco, one of the northernmost countries of Africa is a top tourist destination. Morocco is situated in the northwest corner of Africa and is basically an African country with a large Mediterranean region along the coast. Additionally Morocco might not sound like a birdwatcher’s paradise but, Morocco offers surprisingly good birding in various habitats. Morocco is one of the favorite destinations for birders in search of endangered or rare species of the Palearctic. Many birds are generally endangered and rare or are species which are rare in Palearctic because their main distribution is mainly in the core lands of Africa. Anyway, birds such as Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus), Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae), Marsh Owl (Asio capensis), Levaillant’s Woodpecker (Picus vaillantii), Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senegalus), Dupont’s Lark (Chersophilus duponti), African Desert Warbler (Sylvia deserti), Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri) and the Desert Sparrow (Passer simplex) are a real must for the keen birder.

Morocco offers sandy deserts of the Sahara, high mountains of the Atlas mountain chain and coastal strips along the Atlantic. The most exotic part is certainly the Sahara Continue reading Desert Sparrows in Morocco